Murray Church Notes

May 16, 2019

Volume 7,  Issue 40

In this Issue:


This is Your Church!
Please Plan to Attend the Annual Meeting Next Thursday Night          

Rev. Gretchen Weis 

This is YOUR church.  And it is a healthy, vital, growing faith community.  Each May, at the Annual Meeting, you, the eligible voting members, elect a slate of officers who supervise the day-to-day operations of Murray Church.  You, the members, approve an annual budget to direct our priorities and programming in the year ahead.  All members are encouraged to attend our Annual Meeting next Thursday night, May 23, at 7:00 p.m. in the Unity Room, to approve the proposed financial plan and elect your leaders for the 2019-2020 church year.  Child care will be provided.     

Murray is an independent, stand alone, self-governing congregation, just like all other Unitarian Universalist congregations.  You, the members, hold the future of our shared mission and vision in your hands.  And attending our Annual Meeting is of vital importance. 

Let’s remember those brave Pilgrims, who sailed on the Mayflower to come to a new world, precisely to escape the controlling bishops of the Anglican Church in England.  These radical Congregationalists – our faith ancestors -- risked their very lives so they could worship in free, self-governing churches.  Of the 102 Pilgrims who set sail nearly 400 years ago, only 51 survived that first winter on the shores of what would become Plymouth, Massachusetts.  And countless more Puritans would perish on the journey to the religious freedom they sought in a new world.  

If you signed the membership book as of April 8th, and made a financial donation to the church over the past 15 months, you are eligible to vote at next week’s Annual Meeting.  Note, our by-laws do not require that eligible voting members pledge, just that they donated some amount of money to the church as of February 2018.

Special thanks to your Nominating Committee -- Janet Richardi, Melanie Hitchen, Patrick Kenney and Phil Frink -- for their work recruiting an exciting list of candidates to lead Murray in the year ahead.  Please click here for the proposed slate you will be asked to vote on next week.

And special thanks to your Executive Board – Jim Richardi, Stephanie Paquette, Bertha Young, Linda Millard, Allison MacDonald, Bill Freddo, Don Michaels, Rachel Killion and Rick Millard --  helping to lead this congregation through the challenges of a large deficit budget this past year.  Thanks to Rick and Linda Millard, the Giving Tree program was hugely successful, helping us reduce our estimated $25,000 deficit by $16,500.  Special thanks, also to Amanda Aguiar, who helped run a successful Stewardship campaign this spring. 

The board hopes to present a balanced budget for your consideration next week.  But living up to and into our 2019-2020 budget will require us to step up with a big fundraiser next spring.  We will be asking all those interested in volunteering to help out with a spring fundraiser to sign up at the Annual Meeting.

Next year’s proposed budget also includes some modest income projected from opening up a Thrift Shop.  It is impossible to project how successful the Thrift Shop will be in its first year of operation, but with your combined efforts and dedicated volunteering, we hope it will be a highly successful ongoing source of revenue for us going forward.  There will be a sign up sheet hanging on the wall at the Annual Meeting for all those interested in helping out to make sure our new Thrift Shop is a huge success!

It is hard to believe that our official church year is winding to a close.  The last official Sunday will be June 16th, with summer services beginning on June 23rd and running through the Labor Day weekend.  Special thanks to our Religious Services Committee – David Calusdian, Sheila Jacobs, Monica Staaf, Marguerite MacLean, Liz Kenyon, Allison MacDonald, Danielle MacDonald and Ruth Debrot -- who have created yet another fabulous summer season of meaningful worship services.

As I finish up my fifth year here at Murray, I am humbled and so very blessed to serve you as your minister.  This is a wonderful church and you are an amazing people.  You are rooted in deep love and mutual care, and you are an active voice for love and justice in this community.   Murray Church matters.  I look forward to the years ahead, as we deepen our faith, and live our values out loud in the larger world.   May our doors always be flung open wide, welcoming in all those who wish to join us in the work of love and justice.

I also wanted to take a moment to thank our wonderful staff.  Our church continues to grow and thrive, thanks to the talent and energies of Dr. Dennis Ferguson our Music Director, Kavita Vansant, our Director of Lifespan Religious Education, our new office administrator Jeanne Chapman, (she survived her first year!) and our contract Sexton Richard Cannon.  My heart is full of respect and gratitude for the gifts of service they bring our church.  We are blessed to have them here at Murray.

I look forward to seeing you this Saturday night at our Murray Rocks fundraiser at 7pm in Fellowship Hall!  I am grateful for the generous donation of time and talent our Murray House Rock N Roll band members are contributing to help Murray meet our final fundraising goal for the year.  Be prepared to dance the night away!  In addition to the rock n roll, there will be a 50-50 raffle, as well as some silent auction treats for bidding.   

Please plan to join us this Sunday for one of our most important annual rituals – celebrating those in our youth group graduating from high school, and honoring our junior high youth as they bridge up to the youth group.  Both Kavita and Ruth Debrot, our youth group leader, will be helping me co-lead this celebration of our wonderful young people.  

And I hope to see you at our Annual Meeting next Thursday evening!

Love IS, indeed, the Spirit of this Church,

Rev. Gretchen  

"Our Bridging Ceremony: Changes"
It’s that time of year when we pause to celebrate those high school seniors who will be graduating this spring, and to celebrate those junior high school students who will be bridging up into the high school youth group. The service will be co-lead by Kavita Vansant, our Director of Lifespan Religious Education, Ruth Debrot, youth group leader, and some of our teens.

"Building Bridges on Star Island"
McKayla Hoffman will deliver a homily on building bridges between the UU communities in our area. McKayla will discuss an innovative week-long camp experience this July on Star Island (off the coast of NH) where SE Mass UUs will gather to build new relationships with each other so that we can collectively build a stronger, more vibrant UU community in our area.  

Religious Education for Sunday, May 19

Nursery is available 9:45 -11:00 am.  Nursery is for our babies, toddlers and preschoolers only. 
K-7 and Youth Group:

Our Bridging Service is a multi-gen service.  Please join us in wishing our high schoolers seniors the best!
Thank you to everyone for supporting our Youth Group and buying delicious goodies. Because of your generosity, they raised $172, which will help fund repainting the youth group room.  A special thanks also to Kate Ricciarelli-Wenson for her baking expertise.  

Let the purple painting of the Purple Chat Room begin!
This Saturday, May 18:

Murray Auction Prizes

Many thanks to our generous donors!

4 tickets to the RED SOX vs. TORONTO BLUE JAYS, July 18, 1:05 PM. Box seats along 3rd base.

Spend one night at the Hampton Inn Providence Downtown and enjoy the restaurants, museums, art galleries and shopping! This wonderful stay will include a $20 gift card to Rogue Island! 

Evening at Waterfire for 6 guests. Watch the lighting from a balcony overlooking the event and enjoy the beautiful music.  Wine and appetizers will be served; sunset until 9pm.

Half-day sail on Buzzards Bay for up to 3 people aboard the 34-foot sloop, Nauvoo. Swim, fish, or just sail in one of the most desirable boating destinations in the US.  

Sermon of Your Choice.  Choose a theme or topic for a regular Sunday service in consultation with Reverend Gretchen, and she will deliver a homily.  

Guided Bike Tour for 10 lucky cyclists. Explore up to 25 miles of backroads in the North Attleboro area. Route difficulty depends on experience of cyclists.

3 Original artwork pins by Dave Laferriere, laser cut and hand colored birch plywood: a cat, a pencil and a coffee cup.

Weekend in the Big Apple. 1 BR apartment with pull-out sofa bed for up to 4 in NYC. Walk to Chinatown and it’s cultural delights. Just North is the musical and vibrant scene of the Lower East Side.

And more....
This Sunday, May 19: 

Nature Trail Cleanup

Immediately following worship, we’ll cleanup the Nature Trail behind the church. Trail work is underway moving toward the trail dedication in the Fall. We’ll do raking, and cutting back overgrowth, and moving limbs that have fallen in the path.  We could especially use someone to bring a post-hole digger to 6 plant placards along the path. 

If you can join us, please bring any of the following tools: rakes, clippers, long-handled loppers, post-hole digger, small chain saw.
May 23:

Annual Meeting - Save the Date!

There will be an Annual Meeting of all members of
Murray Unitarian Universalist Church
on Thursday, May 23, 2019 at 7:00 p.m.,
in the Unity Room.

Child care will be provided.

A notice of this meeting and a list of nominees for office are being sent to all members as directed by the By-Laws of Murray Unitarian Universalist Church.

To vote at the annual meeting, members must have signed the membership book on or before 4/8/19 and have made a recorded financial contribution to the church during the fifteen months preceding the meeting.

To view the 2019-2020 Slate, click here.
June 1:

 Potluck Dinner, 
Movie & Discussion

Save the Date!

"I Am Not Your Negro"
A Documentary Narrated by Samuel Jackson 
Time: 6:00 - 9:00 PM
Location: Unity Room

We look forward to a tasty potluck, compelling documentary and thoughtful post-film discussion.  Please plan to join us and invite your friends!  Potluck will begin at 6:00 PM with the film starting at 6:45 PM.

Recycle Flower Arrangement Containers    

If you got an arrangement from Flowers by the Station for the chancel table and you don't know what to do with the plastic container, Flowers by the Station will recycle it.  You can give me the container and I'll bring it to the florist or you can drop it off at their store at 73 Union Street in Attleboro. 

                                          Irene Yutkins

Landscape/Gardening Opportunities

Memorial Garden
We made good progress on spring preparation in the Memorial Garden in our Sunday work sessions so far.  During the summer we will work on Wednesdays, late afternoon into early evening.  We plan to work June 5th and 19th, July 10th and 24th, August 7th and 21st, and September 4th.  We do some work and have some good conversations.  Contact Rusty Morrow for more info.

Front Garden Across from Sanctuary
This will be our third summer working on this area.  Slow and steady?  Or just slow.  We have had a small, dedicated group working on this area the past two summers and with a little more help, we will finish this year.  The first summer, we cleared the overgrown ewes and the unkept brush.  The second summer, we started edging the area, spreading woodchips we got when the electric company cut down a couple trees under the power lines, and moved Savolinen daylilies from the spaces next to the handicapped parking spaces to this area.  We plan to work June 12th and 26th, July 17th and 31st, and August 14th and 28th.  (If you notice these are the alternate Wednesdays to Memorial Garden work, just come each Wednesday and see what we’re doing.)  We will also schedule one time, maybe a Saturday morning, when we will hope for a bigger crew to plant several new plants to finish things up.  Contact Rusty Morrow for more info.
June 2:

Murray Book Group

For our June 2nd meeting, join us in the John Murray Room to share what you have been reading or what you’re thinking about reading during the summer months. We can build our own summer wish lists and create a recommended book list to share with the congregation in the newsletter. If you can’t attend the meeting, but have a book you want to recommend, contact Judy DePue.

Share a Memory

It’s time to share a memory! On July 21st, I will be conducting one of the summer services with a theme of Happy Surprises. What experience have you had that was an intensely happy surprise, one that brought you delight - an "I didn’t see that coming" or "could not have imagined that happening to me" experience. Sometimes these come from people in our lives, sometimes from nature, or the cosmos itself. Please ponder and consider sharing your writings, poems, musings at the summer service. You can send items to Donna Seagrave.
July 13 - 16 or 13 - 20:

Building Bridges Summer Camp

Come Join Rev. Gretchen at Star Island -
a UU Summer Camp for All Ages!

A special summer camp program is being offered in July to encourage people from the UU churches in our area to come and share either 4 days or a full week together to build bridges and relationships between our church families.  It’s a summer camp program for all ages on Star Island, a UU camp offshore New Hampshire.  There will be something for everyone:  family time, time to be alone, time to be in nature, time to swim, time for boating, or arts and crafts, time to reflect, time to play, time to learn, time to worship, time to recharge.  

This is a special invitation for anyone, of any age, from one of the 45 area UU churches in southeastern Massachusetts, the Cape and Islands and Rhode Island to enjoy summer church camp together.  And Star Island is offering a special discount — 30% off room and board for 3 nights, or 50% off room and board for 7 nights -- to encourage people to come be part of this special area UU experience.  
I’ll be there on Star Island for the week of July 13 - 20, and I invite you to come join me, as well as other ministers and congregants from other area churches!

For more information, and to register for Building Bridges, please visit the site here.

Murray UU Church Scholarships Available

Limited funds are available from the scholarship funds for this church year. The Scholarship Fund is administered by the Board of Deacons and Deaconesses. It is used to award scholarships to any member in good standing, following one full year of membership, for purposes of attending educational courses or training programs approved by this Board. For example, it could be applied toward registration fees for attending Building Bridges church camp or UU General Assembly in June.  Applications should be submitted to the Board of Deacons and Deaconesses for approval.  Please contact Andrea Dion-Purdy for additional guidelines and to obtain an application.

Volunteer for Coffee Hour

If you like coffee, yummy snacks or just enjoy meeting new people, please consider volunteering for coffee hour. To sign-up, please click here or write your name down on the clipboard at the table where coffee is served.
If you are new or if you need a refresher, step-by-step instructions and friendly hands-on training and/or buddies are all available. Goodies may be bought or baked. 
It's easy! It doesn't require a lot of extra time (show up between 9:15 and 9:30 am to get the coffee going,  and setup/clean up takes about half an hour).  We really need volunteers! Let's keep Murray members and friends caffeinated and in the happy zone.
Questions?  Contact Monica Weil or Barbara Clark.  

Do you like Murray Church coffee hour?  
We are looking to expand the coordination team for next year. Please contact Monica Weil to learn more about this opportunity to serve and have more fun at Murray Church!                                                       

Food Pantry Donations Needed!               

  • Bar soap
  • Shampoo
  • Toothpaste

Newsletter weekly schedule

Please e-mail all newsletter submissions by Tuesday end of day for inclusion in the following Thursday's Murray Notes. The next deadline is Tuesday, May 21st.  Please include 'NEWSLETTER' in the subject line.  

What's going on at Murray? Click the calendar!

Copyright © 2019 Murray Unitarian Universalist Church, All rights reserved.
Subscription Newsletter

Our mailing address is:
505 North Main Street Attleboro, MA 02703